Announcing: Anonymous Was A Woman Environmental Art Grants

Announcing: Anonymous Was A Woman Environmental Art Grants
Image: Agnes Denes, "Wheatfield - A Confrontation: Battery Park Landfill, Downtown Manhattan - Blue Sky, World Trade Center," 1982. Copyright Agnes Denes, courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York.

New grant program offers up to $20,000 for environmental art projects led by women-identifying artists in the United States and U.S. Territories.

The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has partnered with Anonymous Was A Woman to administer a new national grant program called Anonymous Was A Woman Environmental Art Grants, which will provide one-time grants of up to $20,000 to support environmental art projects led by women-identifying artists in the United States and U.S. Territories. The program will award $250,000 total in grants.

The AWAW EAG will support environmental art projects that inspire thought, action, and ethical engagement. The intended impact of the project is an important factor in the selection process. Projects should not only point at problems, but aim to engage an environmental issue at some scale. Projects that explore interdependence, relationships, and systems through Indigenous and ancestral practices are encouraged to apply.

“Throughout history, and particularly in the past century, artists have been able to bring attention to urgent issues through their work. We have previously used our platform at Anonymous Was A Woman to address the crisis of funding for women artists,” said Susan Unterberg, founder of Anonymous Was A Woman. “Now, we are expanding our impact to fund work that addresses the climate crisis—and, crucially, inspires action. Through the projects created by the recipients of this grant, we hope to contribute to a more positive and hopeful future.” 

Since 1996, AWAW has dedicated $250,000 each year to unrestricted grants of $25,000 to 10 artists, honoring women-identifying artists over the age of 40. The $250,000 awarded through the new AWAW EAG matches AWAW’s annual grant. 

Environmental art projects that qualify for this program may focus on the following themes, but are not limited to:

  • Regeneration
  • Eco-social engagement
  • Decarbonization as decolonization
  • Ecofeminism
  • Climate change/climate collapse
  • Systems-restoration
  • Interspecies relationships
  • Natural or built systems
  • Recycling and repurposing
  • Clean energy production
  • Bioplastics

Selected projects must benefit the public in some way, and are required to have a public engagement component completed by June 2023. The public engagement component must be free to attend, open to the general public, and must add value to the public sphere rather than solely benefiting the artist’s private gain. Online events are acceptable as long as they are attended by a live audience.

“Climate change is an existential threat that requires immediate and collective action,” said Michael Royce, Executive Director, NYFA. “We’re proud to partner with Anonymous Was A Woman to support the vital work of women-identifying artists who are tackling this challenge, seeking ways to mitigate disaster and raise awareness around critical climate change issues,” he added.

The application cycle will open on Tuesday, April 12 and close on Tuesday, June 14, with applicants notified in August 2022. Applications will be reviewed by a panel of individuals who are experienced in environmental art; an artist’s advancement is the product of the collective vote of the panel. 

Applicants must be women-identifying artists of 18 years or older on or before April 12, 2022, and live in one of the 50 states, a Tribal Nation, a U.S. Territory, or the District of Columbia. Applicants must be the project lead, but collaborative projects are eligible and encouraged to apply. While applicants cannot be enrolled in a degree-seeking program of any kind, they can be past recipients of any of NYFA’s and AWAW’s grant programs. Applicants must be a US citizen, permanent legal resident, or O-1 visa holder.

Find out about additional awards and grants here. Sign up for our free bi-weekly newsletter to receive announcements about future NYFA events and programs.

Amy Aronoff
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